Scholars Portal: Methodology and Criteria

This assessment was undertaken to determine whether or not the Scholars Portal e-journals archive meets the commitments the repository’s management has made to its stakeholders with regard to the long-term preservation of e-journals for the academic research community and whether the repository complies with established criteria for trusted digital repositories. The assessment included a site visit, a review of information independently gathered by CRL from published and unpublished sources, and a review of documents and documentation provided by Scholars Portal.

CRL conducted its audit with reference to:

  •  generally accepted best practices for management of digital systems
  •  the interests of the community of Ontario academic libraries
  • the practices and needs of scholarly researchers in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences in the United States and Canada
  • the criteria included in Trustworthy Repositories Audit & Certification: Criteria and Checklist (TRAC)
  • the criteria included in Audit and Certification of Trustworthy Digital Repositories (TDR) checklist (ISO 16363)
  • the Open Archive Information System reference model (OAIS)
  • other metrics developed by CRL through its analyses of digital repositories.

The primary metrics used by CRL in such assessments are contained in the Trustworthy Repositories Audit and Certification (TRAC) checklist and a newer incarnation of this checklist, the Audit and Certification of Trustworthy Digital Repositories (TDR) checklist. TRAC was developed by a joint task force created by the Research Libraries Group (RLG) and the National Archives and Records Administration in 2003 to provide criteria for use in identifying digital repositories capable of reliably storing, migrating, and providing long-term access to digital collections.  TRAC represents best current practices and thinking about the organizational and technical infrastructure required for a repository to be considered trustworthy and thus worthy of investment by the research and research library communities.  The approved ISO standard, TDR (ISO 16363), was also used in this audit.  Because there is currently no ISO-approved mechanism for accrediting certifying bodies for the TDR standard, CRL’s certification is to TRAC criteria.

CRL assessed the Scholars Portal e-journals database repository on each of the three categories of criteria specified in TRAC and has assigned a level of certification for each. The numeric rating (below) is based on a scale of 1 through 5, with 5 being the highest level, and 1 being the minimum certifiable level.   (The minimal certification rating of 1 is assigned in instances where a repository has inconsistencies or deficiencies in areas that might lead to minor defects of a systemic or pervasive nature, but where no major flaws are evident.)

[1]TRAC - /attachments/pages/trac_0.pdf